Playlists are lists of HASA stories put together by authors and readers, just as music lovers put together lists of their favorite songs.
- Stories in a series put in reading order.
- A collection of similarly themed stories, such as Hobbit romance or critical essays on Men.
- A reader's "favorites" list, complete with explanations of why the reader likes them so much.
- A collection of stories by multiple authors.
The Playlists section is fairly simple.
- Playlists Home - This page shows you the ten most recently updated playlists and provides a few answers for people new to the concept.
- Playlists by Date - This is a list of all playlists, ordered from the most recently updated to the oldest. This allows you to quickly see what's new besides the ten on the home page. Use this to see if there is something new to add to your collection.
- Playlists by Name - An alphabetical list. It will also look for lists beginning with numbers and non alphanumeric characters.
- Keyword Search - Simple text search. It looks at playlist names, playlist descriptions and story item descriptions. Be aware that searching on just a character name may get you too many results.
- My Playlists - Available to logged in members. This is where you keep your collection of playlists and manage your own lists.
- The list itself. This is a name and a short description of what the list is presenting.
- List items. These are links to stories that have been added to the list, plus a short description of why that story has been added. It can be as long or as short as you want.
Any HASA member can create a playlist.
- As a reader, you can create as many playlists as you like of stories you read.
- As an author, you can create multiple playlists of your own stories.
- As a workshop member, you can add your own stories to a list compiled by all the workshop members.
All playlists are available for everyone to read, member or general public.
There are three types of playlists, each featuring a slightly different set of perspectives:
- Reader Lists. These lists are for readers to put together collections of stories that they like, for whatever reason, in the order they like, and by as many authors as necessary. Put together a reading tour of HASA!
- Author Lists. These lists are where authors can put together sets of their stories, such as linking together a series, putting writing in chronological order, or featuring a particular character. The only limit here is that any story included in the list must be Beta, General, or Reviewed status.
- Workshop Lists. These are the most specialized. These are lists of stories by authors who belong to a particular workshop. If a group of authors is conducting a writing exercise, they could gather the stories in a playlist. Or if the authors are jointly writing stories, they can compose the joint works in a workshop, then put the stories into a playlist with commentary about writing them.
Lots of reasons!
- You are an author and want to promote your stories. A playlist helps with this:
- Updated playlists appear on the home page of HASA.
- Playlists can put your stories in chronological reading order, which makes it easier for readers to follow along.
- Playlists let you write extra commentary about your stories in the overview and individual story descriptions.
- You are a reader who follows an author or likes a particular genre of stories.
- A playlist can put together a set of her works in the order you like reading them.
- It's an easy URL to send to friends to get them hooked on this author, too.
- You can collect a set of stories together that you might not be able to create a saved search for, such as dramas by these four authors that always have Faramir and Aragorn in them.
- You are a reader with a huge number of favorite stories on HASA.
- A playlist helps you organize that large list into more manageable chunks.
- Stories you like but aren't actively reading can be safely stored for easy retrieval.
- You can use the playlist overview and story overview areas to go into detail about why you recommend this story to other readers.
- You are part of a workshop.
- If you are authors jointly writing stories, you can create a multi-author story list complete with commentary on how they are combined.
- You are authors who don't write joint stories, but have similar themes and want to combine your works.
- You have a set of challenge stories to put into a playlist.
- You want to build a set of research articles or critical essays.
- Some reason we haven't thought of yet.
Playlists are handy ways to put big sets of stories together, including commentary on why they are in the list, for very little effort.
Playlists can be a little daunting to read because they have four levels: the playlist overview, the list of items, the story overviews, and finally the chapters. That's a lot!
- Locate a list of playlists. You can start with the Playlists home page, look at the Playlists by Date page, Playlists by Name, or even try searching for one. When you are starting out, just click around until you see a title that looks interesting. Click on it.
- Now you'll see a playlist overview page. You will see the list of all the stories in the main column. In the side column, there is the Playlist Overview box that provides information about the playlist itself. If you are logged in, you will also see a button you can click to add it to your collection of playlists.
- Each story in the list gives a brief explanation of why it is there. Look them over and see if any sound interesting.
- Ready to read? You can click on the "Story Overview" link to read more about the story, such as who wrote it, how many chapters it has and so on, or you can click on "Go to Chapter 1" and jump right in!
- No matter which link you click, you will now see the Playlist navigation bar. It has a few parts. From left to right, top to bottom:
- Playlist home - click this to get back to the playlist overview page at any time.
- Playlist Start/Previous Story - click this to "back up" in the playlist. The button goes to the overview page of the preceding story.
- Story drop-down. - Use this to jump several stories ahead in the list.
- Next Story Overview/Playlist End - Click here to advance to the next story in the list.
- [Story name] Go to Ch. 1 - click this to skip the overviews and get right into the story. These links appear at the left to go backward in the list and at the right to go forward.
- Click a chapter link and start reading!
How can you keep track of the lists you like? If you are a HASA member, add them to your playlist collection! It's a like a big favorite stories list, except for sets of stories instead of individual ones.
- Click on the My Playlists menu item in the main Playlists drop down menu. This takes you to the "Playlists I Read" list. (If you are already in Playlsits, click on the Main Menu heading to unfiold the menu, then you can choose between Stories I Read, Stories I Share, and Stories I Write.)
- The first time you go there, you probably won't see anything because you haven't added anything. Time to populate it!
- Click around and look for playlists that sound interesting. When you see one, click on the title.
- This takes you to the overview page. On that page, you will see a button immediately under the playlist information, saying "Add Playlist ". Click it.
- The button now says "Remove Playlist". Click it again. Change it back and forth a few times. Easy, huh? Now go find a few more lists that look good and add them to your collection.
- Make sure you have added at least one list, then click on "My Playlists" again. Now you should see a table with all the lists you have added.
- Click on the title to read the stories.
- Click on the "Remove Playlist" button to remove a list from your collection.
- That's it! You may have as many lists as you like in your collection.
You can add playlists in the Playlists section or in the Stories section.
- Be on any page in the section.
- If the Main Menu is not open, click the header to unfold the menu.
- From the menu, click on "Playlists I Share".
- You will now see a form for creating a list.
- Type in a title. It cannot be more than 50 characters, including spaces. Make the title distinctive. Do not use double quote marks!
- Type in a description of the list. Use key words like your screen name, characters featured in the stories, and so on. Each one of these words is searchable. Click "Add".
- The playlist is created and you end up on the "My Own Lists" page. You are now ready to add stories.
- While you are reading a story you like, click on the "Add to Playlist" button in the Readers Toolbox located at the top and bottom of every chapter page.
- If you do not have any playlists at all, you will immediately see a form like the one described above. Follow those instructions to create a playlist.
- If you already have playlists, you will see a drop-down list of your Reader playlists, plus a link to "Create new Playlist."
- Once you have either created or selected a playlist, you will be prompted to add the story to the list.
- Provide a brief explanation of why you are adding the story to the list and click "Add".
- After you have added the story, you will have the opportunity to put the playlist into a particular order.
NOTE: When a playlist is created, it is set to Inactive. This is because when it is created, it doesn't have stories in it. After you add stories to it, you must set the playlist to Active to allow others to read it.
- Browse stories as you usually do.
- When you find a story you want to add to a reader playlist, click on the "Add to Playlist" button in the Reader Toolbox.
- If you do not yet have a Reader list, you will be prompted to create one.
- Find the list you want to add the story to from the playlist drop-down on the page. It will show you all of your reader playlists.
- Click the "Add Story" button next to the name of the playlist to which you want to add this story.
- You will see a form where you can type in your reason for adding the story to the playlist.
- Click "Add."
- The screen refreshes and you can see the story in the list. It is added at position "0". You must set the story to a number other than "0" for it to show on your list.
- Use the small ordinal drop-down boxes to put the story in position.
- Click "Reorder List" to update the order.
- If your Playlist is Inactive, you may now set it to Active. Click "Edit Playlist"and change the status from Inactive to Active.
- Click the "Back to Reading" link to return to the story you were reading.
Creating an author playlist is a great way to promote your own works. If you write multiple stories that should be read in a particular order, or if you have different sets of stories (these are my Dwarf stories, these are my Hobbit stories, etc.) you can group them together.
The most recently updated playlist appears on the home page of HASA, which is a good way to bring a set of stories to the notice of readers.
- Go to the Playlists section.
- If the Main Menu is folded up, click the heading to unfold it.
- Choose "Playlists I Write" from the menu.
- On that page, if you do not have an author playlists yet, you will be prompted to create one.
- Enter a title and a brief description of the playlist, such as "This is my Legolas AU series set in chronological order."
- Click "Add".
- When your list is first created, it is set to Inactive. This allows you to put your list together before releasing it to the public. You must set your list to Active to make it viewable.
Now that your list is created, you can add your stories to it.
- Navigate to My Playlists/Playlists I Write in the Playlists section of HASA
- You will now see the list of all Author Playlists you have created. If you don't have a playlist yet, you'll be prompted to create one.
- Click "Update List" to add stories.
- The screen will refresh and you will now see all of your Beta, General and Reviewed status stories in a drop down list.
- Select the story you want to add from the drop-down list and click "Select".
- Provide a brief explanation for the story. Use keywords that readers might use for searching, such as characters names or story genre. Take time to say something that will spark curiosity about your story and make a reader want to click. If you are putting together a thematic series, put that in.
- Click "Add".
- The story and reason are added to the list.
- Be sure to set the order of the list after adding a new story. Use the order drop-down numbers to do this. The stories that are left set to "0" will not show up in the playlist.
After you have added a story, you will need to reset the overall playlist to Active status.
- Click the "Edit Playlist" button in the top table.
- The playlist will open in a form.
- Make changes to the description if desired and change the status from Inactive to Active.
- Click "Edit Playlist".
- Go to "My Playlists".
- Choose the playlist you want to edit from the Share or Write set as appropriate.
- On the playlist overview page, click "Update List".
- Locate the story you wish to remove. Click "Drop".
- The story is now gone from the playlist.
- Be sure to check the order of the stories after you remove one. They may need to be reordered.
- If you are in Stories, you can also click the "Add to Playlist" button on any story to reach your Reader playlists. From there, select a list. You will be able to drop a story and reorder the list in that screen.
Playlists must be active for anyone else to see them.
- Go to My Playlists in the Playlists section.
- Go to either "Playlists I Share " or "Playlists I Wrote" as appropriate
- Look at the list of playlists. The status column will tell you if the playlist is Active or Inactive. A list must have at least one story to be active.
- Click "Edit Playlist" to change the status
- If there is at least one story on the list, you will be able to select the status.
- Set your playlist to "Active" and click "Edit Playlist".
- Your playlist is now active and others can read it and add it to their collections.
If you are in Stories, you may click on any "Add to Playlists" button to access your reader playlists. Follow the instructions above to activate a list.
Use the same procedure to reach a playlist to deactivate it. You can deactivate a playlist that contains stories.
- Go Playlists/My Playlists.
- Locate the list you wish to remove.
- Click "Delete."
- There is NO undo on a deletion. If you are not certain you want to permanently delete the playlist, deactivate it instead.
- You may not have set the playlist to "Active." Double check and be sure it is set to "Active."
- If you used double quote marks in the name and then updated it, you may have erased the name. Edit the playlist and retype the name without any double quotes.
- You may have removed all the stories from that list. If you remove the stories, the list automatically deactivates. Add a story and reactivate the list.
There is not much you can do. It is the playlist owner's prerogative to activate and deactivate her playlists as she chooses. You can try contacting the owner to see if it will be reactivated, you can drop the playlist from your collection, or you can let it stay there and see if the owner reactivates it at some future time.
Please note that HASA will not contact playlist owners about reactivation. That is the owner's business. HASA may on occasion delete a playlist if it is determined that the creator has abandoned the list or has created the list for malicious purposes.
Playlists are removed from collections under two circumstances:
- The playlist owner deletes the list. As there is no list, there is nothing to link to.
- If the playlist owner ceases to be an active HASA member, her playlists are deactivated and removed from collections.
A few things may have happened:
- The owner may have removed a story from her list, but failed to renumber the list.
- The owner may have set the numbers incorrectly and left a gap (having two number 3 stories, for example).
- A story may have been set to a status other than Beta, General, or Published. For example, a Beta story may now be in review, or a General story may have been pulled off list.
Contact the playlist owner and point out the numbering gaps, but do not nag. If her story is in review, she will not be able to say so. Be courteous when contacting a playlist owner.
Most likely, the author of the story has changed the story's status to something other than Beta, General, or Published. There is nothing you can do about that. Change the order of your playlist to exclude the no longer accessible story. You can always add it back in.